Review of the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max after Two Weeks of Usage

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Table of content

This year, Apple made a noteworthy return to the smartphone market with its flagship iPhone 15 Pro Max. Boasting a combination of a robust and lightweight titanium design, an A17 Pro processor, and various enhancements, let’s delve into everything Apple has brought to the table with this release.

The new iPhone 15 Pro Max enters the market with a powerful design, processor upgrades, and improvements in specifications, presenting a fresh set of features that many iPhone users are seeking.

One of the key marketing points for this release is the A17 Pro processor. Built on a 3-nanometer manufacturing process, the processor comes with enhancements in the graphics card and ray-tracing technology.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max stands out as the first distinctive release from Apple to feature a USB-C port, providing higher speeds according to USB 3 standards. Additionally, the main camera receives an upgrade to an impressive 48-megapixel resolution. This version also introduces an exclusive periscope telephoto camera with up to 5x optical zoom.

  • Dimensions: 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.3 mm, weighing 221 grams, with glass protection on both the front and back.
  • Titanium design, IP68 dust and water resistance, and support for Apple Pay.
  • LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 6.70-inch size, 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10, Dolby Vision support, and a resolution of 1290 x 2796 pixels.
  • Apple A17 Pro chip with a 3-nanometer manufacturing process.
  • 8GB RAM, storage options of 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB.
  • iOS 17 operating system.
  • Triple main camera setup: 48MP wide, 12MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom, 12MP ultra-wide, and a TOF 3D LiDAR sensor. Front camera: 12MP.
  • 4441mAh battery with fast charging (50% in 30 minutes), 15W MagSafe wireless charging, and 7.5W Qi wireless charging.
  • 5G connectivity, eSIM, dual SIM support, Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC.
  • Face ID, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, barometer, stereo speakers, satellite communication support, USB-C port.

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max comes in slim packaging, including a USB cable, the phone unit, Apple-logoed stickers, a SIM ejector tool, and a braided USB-C cable for extended user support.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple replaces the stainless steel design in the previous iPhone 14 Pro Max with a lighter and more durable titanium design. The phone showcases a non-glossy finish, and with a weight reduction of 20 grams compared to its predecessor, the 15 Pro Max offers a noticeable difference.

The rounded edges of the phone contribute to a sleek design, providing a comfortable one-handed grip. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is IP68 rated for water and dust resistance, allowing it to withstand submersion up to 6 meters for 30 minutes.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The back cover of the phone maintains the matte design, with a Corning protective layer. Apple offers the iPhone 15 Pro Max in titanium colors, black, white, and the actual color of the titanium material.

The “Dynamic Island” design is retained in this release, and the camera settings on the back are arranged in a triangular pattern. The internal structure of this year’s aluminum edition is designed to be more repair-friendly than the stainless steel variant, as confirmed by the phone’s disassembly process.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with rounded corners, delivering the best-in-class display among competing smartphones. The screen provides superior color accuracy, contrast, brightness levels, viewing angles, and slim bezels.

The “Dynamic Island” system introduces small-sized camera openings, with the front camera’s 12MP sensor featuring optical stabilization and autofocus. The rear camera settings include a 48MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 12MP periscope telephoto sensor.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max’s speaker system is divided between a small-sized speaker above the screen and another speaker at the bottom. The “Dynamic Island” section supports graphics display and multitasking efficiently.

In terms of rear camera settings, the iPhone 15 Pro Max presents a square layout with three sensors in metal rings and a prominent design. The main camera boasts a 48MP resolution, the ultra-wide offers a 12MP sensor, and the periscope telephoto sensor supports 5x optical zoom.

The camera settings also include a dual LED flash with two lighting levels, a LiDAR scanner, an ambient light sensor, and a microphone designed to complement the camera settings. Users are advised to use a case for the rear camera protection to avoid scratching the glass cover when placing the phone on a surface.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max supports wireless charging through MagSafe, featuring a powerful magnet. The phone also supports a wide range of MagSafe accessories.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The phone comes with a USB-C port, two speaker openings, a microphone, and another stereo speaker.

The right frame of the phone houses a long button for power, restart, or emergency activation.

The left frame includes a SIM card slot, volume control buttons, and the new Action button, 50% smaller than other buttons.

The Action button supports activation and power-off through long presses, providing predefined actions such as muting, flashlight activation, camera activation, Focus, Voice Memo, and a shortcut.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15 Pro Max dimensions are 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.3 mm, weighing 221 grams, 20 grams lighter than the previous iPhone 14 Pro Max. Overall, Apple ensures that the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers a sturdy design with enhanced protection and an improved user experience in holding the phone with higher safety standards. While Apple has focused on intricate details in developing this version, the practical experience revealed the potential for the glass back layer to crack quickly.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The screen is one of the key marketing points for which Apple’s iPhone series is renowned, combining brightness and color accuracy. The iPhone 15 Pro Max features an LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED display, measuring 6.7 inches with a resolution of 2796 by 1290 pixels and a pixel density of 460 pixels per inch.

The screen employs “ProMotion” technology, with a dynamic refresh rate ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz. It also supports Always-On features and standby mode. The display covers a wide color gamut, supporting HDR10 and Dolby Vision for video content, and incorporates the “Dynamic Island” system.

The phone boasts a Corning protective layer with a fingerprint-resistant coating. However, long-term usage may reveal some effects on the phone frame. The screen also features a Haptic touch, supported by the distinctive Taptic engine for powerful feedback.

The display supports a brightness of 1000 nits, reaching up to 2000 nits in direct sunlight with HDR content (dropping to 1600 nits). Apple calibrates color accuracy at the factory, targeting sRGB standards for color gradients in most applications, providing precise colors even at lower brightness levels.

Regarding the refresh rate, the phone supports a dynamic refresh rate starting from 1Hz for static images, the Always-On feature, and standby mode. When browsing the internet, the refresh rate increases to 120Hz for smooth navigation. Content is typically displayed at 60 frames per second.

The Apple screen supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision standards, along with DRM standards for streaming HDR content from services like Netflix or YouTube. HDR content doesn’t necessarily need to fill the entire screen, as the technology allows for flexible video streaming in the designated part of the screen.

iPhone screens excel in touch responsiveness, surpassing many competitors due to the Taptic engine enhancing touch response accuracy and speed.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is equipped with a 4441 mAh battery, a slight upgrade compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple emphasizes superior battery life, attributing it to the LTPO OLED screen technology and the 3-nanometer manufacturing precision of the chips, resulting in more efficient energy consumption.

In practical tests, the battery demonstrated up to 25 hours of talk time, 24 hours of screen-on time, and 24 hours of internet browsing and video playback. The phone also introduces a special charging mode to enhance battery lifespan, slowing down charging after reaching 80% to protect the battery during overnight charging.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple doesn’t include a charging adapter in the iPhone 15 Pro Max box, but all iPhone 15 models support USB Power Delivery technology. The phone supports fast wireless charging via MagSafe, with a planned 20W fast charging capability and 15W wireless charging. Apple claims a 50% charge in just 30 minutes with a 20W adapter.

Practical speed tests show that the iPhone 15 Pro Max achieves a 233% charge in 15 minutes, 46% in 30 minutes, and 80% in one hour. A full battery charge takes 1 hour and 49 minutes, and the charging speed remains consistent even with a 30W charging adapter.

The phone supports 7.5W wireless charging with Qi technology, but MagSafe charging with 15W is recommended by Apple. Reverse charging is also possible with a 4 to 4.8W output, allowing the phone to charge AirPods or an Apple Watch at 2W.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max relies on hybrid stereo speakers, with the first speaker at the bottom and the earpiece serving as the second speaker. The speakers provide high-quality sound with balanced audio and enhanced directional audio output based on the phone’s orientation.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

All Apple iPhone 15 models come pre-installed with the iOS 17 operating system. This update introduces the Standby Mode feature, enhanced contact customization, and a password-sharing feature with friends.

The update also supports offline map browsing, updates to the Messages app, and an automatic deletion feature for SMS codes. Additionally, interactive tools are introduced as part of other features.

When examining the iPhone 15 Pro Max with the iOS 17 update, the phone interface displays numerous application icons and widgets. The App Library includes less essential apps, and there are notification and control centers.

The iOS 17 lock screen features a familiar design, including a notification center and quick shortcuts for activating the flashlight and camera. The optional Standby Mode can be activated while charging the phone horizontally, displaying the time, calendar, and notifications with the ability to choose a red-tinted night display.

Users can also bypass the lock screen using Face ID or a password in case the lock is disabled. The update allows users to customize the lock screen with Apple-provided wallpapers and choose from four widgets.

Users can create two different lock screen setups and switch between them with a long press and scroll. Long-pressing the Action button can activate or deactivate it, with predefined actions like muting, launching the camera, turning on the flashlight, controlling the speaker, activating Voice Memos, and using a Shortcut.

Apple also introduces a feature to block a specific home screen for user privacy, such as pages with work-related apps, games, or specific app pages.

The iOS 17 update brings back the Focus mode, allowing users to predefine lock screen settings. When switching between home screens, the operating system changes the Focus mode. The update also supports customizing the Focus mode for gaming, work, or driving.

iOS 17 offers three widget sizes in the user interface: 2×2, 4×2, and 4×4. Distinct widgets of the same size can be stacked, automatically rotating for selection.

Widgets in this update feature a more interactive design, allowing users to click on the app widget and execute actions without entering the app.

The App Library has a drawer-like design for apps on the home screen’s right side, automatically including recently installed apps.

The “Dynamic Island” supports multiple tasks with animated graphics against a black background. Three modes include the standard mode, revealing camera and microphone indicators, a small bump design with information on both sides and alert notifications, and a third mode for running compatible apps in this section.

The “Dynamic Island” provides animated graphics for Face ID, charging, and music apps like Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, and Soundcloud.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple introduced the iPhone 15 Pro model this year with the new A17 Pro chip based on a 3-nanometer manufacturing process. The chip includes a 6-core processor, with 2 performance cores clocked at 3.78GHz and 4 efficiency cores clocked at 2.02GHz.

Apple claims a 10% improvement in processor performance and a 20% improvement in graphics performance compared to the A16 Bionic chip. The chip supports ray tracing, providing a fourfold performance boost. Apple also upgrades the Neural Engine to a 16-core version, offering twice the speed of the previous chip.

The A17 Pro chip includes a screen engine supporting AV1 decoding and ProRes. The chip enables the iPhone 15 Pro Max to record 4K video at 60 frames per second in ProRes RAW format, supporting ACES color standards.

The Pro models come with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and storage options of 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB in NVMe memory.

Performance tests show that the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers a 10% improvement in single-core performance and a modest 6% improvement in multi-core performance compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. In 3D Mark tests, the A17 Pro chip shows a slight 10% improvement over the A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

GPU performance tests reveal a 70% stability improvement for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which is impressive considering the glass back layer and the passive cooling system.

During a 40-minute test of playing “Call of Duty” on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the phone maintained excellent performance with good stability. Some user reports mentioned increased phone temperature during fast charging, but these reports are sporadic. Apple acknowledges the issue and plans to release a software update to address it.

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max is equipped with a total of 4 cameras, divided into three rear cameras and a selfie camera. The rear camera system supports a LiDAR sensor on the back and a 3D ToF (Time of Flight) sensor on the front.

Apple has updated all cameras except the selfie camera. The primary rear camera features a 48-megapixel sensor with a pixel size of 1.22µm, a focal length of 24mm, and an f/1.78 lens aperture.

Tests confirm that the camera introduces new shooting capabilities, allowing users to capture photos at 48 megapixels in the HEIF/JPG format or in ProRAW with the same resolution.

The camera also includes digital zoom modes with focal lengths of 28mm, and 35mm, and the ability for the user to choose the preferred focal length.

Additionally, the iPhone 15 Pro Max introduces a periscope camera for the first time, enabling optical zoom up to 5x or a focal length of 120mm. Apple employs “tetraprism” technology, reversing the light through four elements before reaching the sensor.

The periscope lens has an f/2.8 aperture and supports optical image stabilization, which relies on moving lenses and the sensor to counteract any camera shake.

The camera setup also includes an ultra-wide-angle lens with a 12mm focal length, f/2.2 lens aperture, a sensor size of 1/2.55, a pixel size of 1.4µm, and 100% pixel-level focus. The camera supports Macro photography, features an anti-reflective design, and includes improvements in Night mode photography.

On the other hand, the selfie camera has a resolution of 12 megapixels, a 1/3.6 sensor size, an f/1.9 lens aperture, a 23mm focal length, and supports autofocus and optical stabilization.

The camera settings include a flash with 9 LED lights introduced in the previous version, offering independent adjustment for each light, providing strong illumination with slow synchronization.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The camera app’s image processing includes all previously mentioned features such as Smart HDR, Night mode, Deep Fusion, and the optical engine, with additional improvements.

The Night mode is automatically activated in low-light conditions. Users receive suggestions alongside the Night mode icon, offering a choice between longer exposure or disabling Night mode.

The camera app introduces a “Macro” mode for close-up shots, along with autofocus improvements for the ultra-wide camera. The camera interface allows users to switch between 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 5x focal lengths automatically in Macro mode.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Users can navigate through various shooting modes in the camera app interface, including flash, Live Photos, Night mode, exposure compensation mode, and filters.

For video recording, the iPhone 15 Pro Max provides options to change resolution and frame rates through the viewfinder lenses. Portrait mode is available for the main camera, telephoto camera, and selfie camera.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max’s camera can automatically recognize subjects (people or animals) for a seamless transition to portrait mode with depth details. Users can also blur the background through the camera app.

All cameras support RAW format, and Apple introduced the “Photographic Styles” feature for automatic photo editing. The cinematic mode for video recording is also available.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max allows capturing 24-megapixel photos by default, with an option to choose 12 megapixels in the main camera with 48-megapixel resolution.

The main sensor features a Quad-Bayer color filter, providing excellent performance for 24-megapixel photos in daylight, showcasing detailed images.

Higher resolution details are available when capturing photos at 48 megapixels, producing sharper images without visible noise. The telephoto camera performs exceptionally well with up to 5x optical zoom, delivering less distortion, excellent contrast, accurate colors, and an outstanding dynamic range.

The ultra-wide-angle camera offers superior performance with the highest resolution details, excellent angles, minimal distortion, and high contrast. Additionally, the color accuracy is top-notch.

In the selfie camera, the iPhone 15 Pro Max retains the same camera as the previous version, with a 12-megapixel resolution, 23mm focal length, f/1.9 lens aperture, autofocus feature, and support for cropping vertical photos to 7 megapixels for a tight selfie frame.

When the scene switches to horizontal mode, the user gets a 12-megapixel resolution with more details, and switching between these modes is also possible manually.

The Night mode photography is automatically activated when the camera detects low light in the surroundings. The images are saved in Night mode with a resolution of 12 megapixels, and to obtain a 24-megapixel resolution, the user needs to disable Night mode initially.

Overall, the camera performance in Night mode is excellent, with high brightness, plenty of details, and no visible noise in shots.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max supports excellent video recording, allowing 4K video recording at 60 frames per second for all four cameras. There is an option for recording 4K video at 24 frames per second for cinematic clips, an Action mode for video recording, a dedicated cinematic mode, support for HDR video recording, and Dolby Vision format. The phone also supports video editing.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max stands out as one of Apple’s best iPhone models to date, combining a new chip, a periscope camera for improved optical zoom, and a redesigned titanium frame that is lighter and more robust, providing a better grip. However, these features come with a higher price tag.

Apple competes in the market with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, featuring a lightweight design, enhanced zoom capabilities, titanium construction, and a new processor from Apple.

Author Rating

Overall Rating based on reviewers at technic4u
90%

Design

90%

Performance

90%

camera

90%

Battery

90%

Additional features

Positives

  • +Lightweight design with higher resistance
  • +Stunning OLED screen
  • +Excellent battery life
  • +Outstanding camera and video recording performance
  • +USB-C port

Negatives

  • -High pricing level
  • -No charging adapter is included in the box
  • -The outer glass layer may be prone to quick breakage
90%

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